Personal Submarine in the Bay

Have you ever wondered what is going on in the depths of the Bay, been curious how does the wildlife behaves below the surface, or just dreamed of cruising in a submarine? Well, it’s closer than you think.  In fact, a personal submarine has already been cruising in the Bay.  Graham Hawkes showed off the  Deep Flight Super Falcon, a small battery-powered submarine, at the California Academy of Sciences on May 13th, 2009.

Deep Flight Super Falcon

Deep Flight Super Falcon

The 20 ft winged submarine, Super Falcon,  is set to fly around Monterey Bay from June 19th to July 17th, and will be on display to the public when not in use.

The curious craft with its 10-foot wingspread looks like a sleek jet plane, not what it really is: a small submarine capable of flying deep beneath the ocean’s surface to survey whatever’s there.

And that’s just what it will do next month when scientists and conservationists from California’s national marine sanctuaries take it underwater in Monterey Bay and start tracking everything that’s living there, from whales to tiny krill.

The newly designed, battery-powered submarine is only 20 feet long and is built to carry two people to depths of 1,500 feet as they cruise at a sedate 7 mph.

An explanation of the Super Falcon

An explanation of the Super Falcon

Unveiled Wednesday at the California Academy of Sciences, Deep Flight Super Falcon, as the sub has been named, had already been tested successfully inside San Francisco Bay.

Maria Brown, superintendent of the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, spoke enthusiastically of the sub’s potential as curious academy visitors peered at the Super Falcon resting on its cradle and flashing its laser range-finders.

“It will provide us our first real access to all the sanctuary’s life beneath the surface,” Brown said. “We already have multi-beam instruments to probe the seabed and give us very detailed information about its rocky contours, but now we can learn much more about how animals move through the water and where they move.

John McCosker, the academy’s chair of aquatic biology, said the agile submarine will enable him and his colleagues for the first time to follow along with the travels of “whales and dolphins and even super sharks – maybe even the mysterious giant squid.” Read the entire SF Gate Article…